When it comes to the current revival of early 20th century Jump Blues and Swing music, there are two ways to go. There are groups that simply try to be a “retro” band and attempt to recreate those days musically. Others play the music straightforward, as if they were living in those days now, meaning their jams are real and spontaneous and not based on nostalgia.
Venice, Calif.’s The Dustbowl Revival rides a third rail. The band is true to the original Jump Blues and Swing groove, but the musicians also reserve the right to go off on any musical tangent that they deem fun and workable.
Officially, The Dustbowl Revival calls itself a Roots and Jazz collective. The group’s leader is Zach Lupetin, a Chicagoan who now resides in the L.A. area. His love for Roots music was sparked, like a lot of his generation, by the music in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou. As he grew older, he decided to seek out the artists who influenced his favorite musicians, laying the groundwork for the Revival’s vibrant vintage mélange.
With instruments ranging from trombone and trumpet to mandolin and fiddle, Dustbowl Revival’s music touches on everything from Swamp Blues and fun Jug Band sounds to Bluegrass and Folk. The group, which was named 2013’s “Best Live Band” in L.A. by LA Weekly, is touring on its latest album, Carry Me Home, which was released in April.
THE DUS TBOWL REVIVAL plays a free show Wednesday, Nov. 20 with Brad Loans at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Check out performance times and get venue details here .